Review: Brunch at Chez Cora, Toronto

I recently took my friend Jennifer Anne Dumaran out for brunch at Chez Cora. I had heard a lot about this breakfast chain and thought I should try it out for myself and see what the big deal was. I was welcomed by an incredibly tacky interior…as though the designer had procured decorations from a rummage sale. The signage throughout the restaurant reminded me of a kindergarten classroom.

We ordered:

Cup of Coffee

Mango Banana Smoothie

Raspberry 4 Lucie

crepe filled with raspberry and cream cheese with raspberry coulis, honey and english cream

Eggs Benedict

roasted potatoes and fresh fruit

Cora’s Special

two eggs, bacon, ham, sausage and crepe

Everything we were served was underwhelming and the price tag on our menus did not line up with the food sitting in front of us. My smoothie was garnished with a bruised piece of pineapple (really?) and sat on a plate decorated with a lettuce leaf and slice of cantaloupe (really really?) The raspberry crepe was made of frozen raspberries. The entire dish was cold. My Eggs Benedict featured a luke warm english muffin and a cheap cut of deli ham. The roast potatoes were undercooked, flabby and lacked any sense of crispiness. Jenn’s “Cora’s Special” was anything but special. Her plate featured an underwhelming spread of toast, greasy bacon and cheap sausage and ham. Both of our plates were overrun with fruit.

The Chez Cora experience is not worth your time or money (especially if you find yourself living in downtown Toronto, which of course has plenty of options). There are far better alternatives which use farm fresh ingredients, arrive at the table at an adequate temperature and actually have a charming ambiance.

Chez Cora is slowly killing its target market. Restless parents looking for an accessible family friendly environment. Mothers are blinded by the brick and brack on the wall while children are slowly suffocated with plates towering with too much fruit. Next!

#274 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Cora's Breakfast & Lunch on Urbanspoon

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3 Responses to “Review: Brunch at Chez Cora, Toronto”

  1. Yves
    January 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    While you say its killing its target market, Chez Cora restaurants are growing like mushrooms all over the country. And here in Quebec, with the same look, same presentation (of course quality may differ in every franchise according to who is running it) with lettuce and melon it kicks ass and fills wallets with a lot of tips. Because this simplicity, its kitchy look and no matter what you’ll say, with your beautiful and colorful photos as an example, its putting 100 million dollars in Cora’s pocket every year approx.

    Just so you know, Raspberry 4 Lucie is suppose to be cold. Not the rest though, on that I agree this TO franchise may have done poor. And complaining about too much fruits? What’s wrong with healthy fruit vitamins? Also welcome to Canada where we eat cheap and greasy meat….

    Cora’s kinda fast food chain. What did you expect? Is it possible you were in a bad mood that day?

    I would kick Cora’s ass on the environmental aspect. There you’ll find a lot to really complain about.

    • dobbernation
      January 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks for your comments!

      I am not interested in reviewing restaurants based on how successful they are financially. If that were the case I’d be raving about McDonald’s regularly. That would be a bore and not an honest sentiment on my part.

      Even if Raspberry 4 Lucie is supposed to be cold I would prefer my brunch to not be made of frozen foods. If I am going out to eat I would like to be served fresh food.

      The issue with too much fruit is two fold: first, the last thing North Americans need are over sized portions. I am trying to encourage people to eat at restaurants that serve a reasonable amount of food. It is also evident that by serving an outrageous amount of fruit on the plate they are able to use cheaper food products. It all comes down to food costs. I was not impressed by the fact that the fruit on my plate was bruised.

      I was not in a bad mood that day I was actually incredibly happy it was a lovely sunny day in Toronto and I was eating with a good friend. What did I expect? I expected fresh fruit, wholesome food and timely service. This is not what I received.

      I wrote this post directly to the population of Toronto. We have only two Cora’s restaurants in this city and I intended to advise the that Cora’s is not the best place to spend their money. There are far better options that focus on freshly made food serving up seasonal fruit in reasonable portions with an ambiance that does not give one a headache.


  2. S and E
    October 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    My daughter and I were at the Don Mills and York Mills location this past Sunday. The service was non existent. We were there over 30 minutes before we complained that no one had yet taken our order or offered any coffee or noticed we were there. Other tables who came after us were being waited on with no apparent rhyme or reason. The wait staff were very overwhelmed and not too bright. One of them actually pretended not to speak English so she wouldn’t have to deal with me. We finally placed our order and then waited another 30 minutes before we were served and that was after we said to forget it we’ll just go…ONE person there Will, was tho only one who took any responsibility and really rose to the occasion to expedite our meals. I said we’d stay only if they were prepared to “do something” for us… the’s pretty bad. Yes everything comes with what? everything else is ice cold. I ordered eggs benedict with the hollondaise sauce on the side…yargh…cold eggs, cold under cooked ham, cold lumpy sauce and a banana chunk. My daughter ordered a crepe which she did enjoy. Will did offer 50% off everything and was quite attentive to us after I made it clear that we were not happy. Only at the very end of the meal or tip time did our actual server make an appearance asking if everything was ok to which we both laughed and said sure. Also, only when I was paying at the cash did the actual manager come to me to say he saw everything and asked if everything was ok! The manager didn’t even have the training to intervene and fix the issue long before poor Will was thrown into the situation even though he said he saw everything. We paid and gave Will a tip and will never do the Cora experience again. There are far too many other choices in this city to go back for more. Plus this was Cora’s last chance as this has happened before at other Cora locations so yes they have a good idea they just don’t know how to make it work.

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